Ashes Test matches at Lord’s are often one-sided affairs. England suffered a long drought at the most famous venue in world cricket between 1934 and 2009 as Australia dominated.
Matches are rarely close, even if the two sides are extremely competitive throughout the rest of the series. The slope, the rich Lord’s history, seems to skew these Tests one way or the other.
While there aren’t many that count as one of the greatest cricket matches of all-time, Lord’s has been home to some of the most significant moments in Ashes history.
Often the turning point in the series, Lord’s has seen crucial injuries, changes of captaincy and Ashes-altering individual performances.
There are no more famous Ashes venues than the Home of Cricket. Here are five of the greatest Lord’s Test matches in Ashes history...
Ashes 1981: Match Drawn
Significant not for any moment in the match, but what followed, the 1981 Lord’s Ashes Test was a bizarre occasion. The captaincy was slipping through Ian Botham’s fingers, the Lord’s members were growing irritated. Botham grabbed a pair. Bob Willis bowled 28 no balls.
England drew the match amid a misjudgement from the umpires. A lot of play was missed for rain and bad light. Cushions were thrown onto the outfield as the crowd were disgruntled with the umpires.
Everything about the Test was bizarre, yet it’s the overlooked match of the 1981 Ashes. Botham resigned afterwards, allowing Mike Brearley to succeed him as skipper.
Botham and Willis starred just a few days later at Headingley. While the result at Lord’s wasn’t thrilling, it was the match that turned the 1981 Ashes.
Ashes 1985: Australia Win By 4 Wickets
One of the few genuinely entertaining Lord’s Ashes Tests, Australia won their only match of the 1985 Ashes at the Home of Cricket to continue their sensational run post-1934.
Allan Border, as was often the case, was impossible to dismiss for England. Border carried Australia to a significant first innings lead with his 196, and despite 85 from Ian Botham in the second knock, England couldn’t set a truly competitive total. Australia needed just 127.
Led by Botham once again, England reduced Australia to 65 for five. The Test was in the balance with Botham threatening. Border, however, had other ideas. Tougher than anyone, Border guided the tourists to a four-wicket victory.
Ashes 1934: England Win By Innings And 38 Runs
The 1934 Ashes were not a successful one for England. Donald Bradman scored over 750 runs in the series as Australia claimed a 2-1 series victory, as he and Bill Ponsford compiled two of the greatest partnerships in Ashes history in the fourth and fifth Tests.
England’s only victory came in the second Test of the series. The Home of Cricket saw one of the all-time bowling performances from left-armer Hedley Verity – it was England’s only Ashes win at Lord’s in the 20th century.
While it once again wasn’t a tightly fought affair, Verity’s majestic 15-wicket performance – and a rare English win at Lord’s – give this Test a special place in the history books.
Dismissing Bradman twice in the match and taking 14 wickets on Day Three, Verity’s performance drew plaudits across the cricketing world, though there was a fair bit of criticism for Australia’s batsmen, too.
Ashes 1993: Australia Win By Innings And 62 Runs
After Shane Warne exploded onto the Ashes scene in the first Test of the 1993 Ashes, England headed to Lord’s desperate for something special. Australia won the toss and batted first, quickly eliminating such hopes.
The tourists compiled 632 runs for the loss of just four wickets. The top three all scored centuries, with David Boon and Michael Slater passing 150. Mark Waugh was dismissed for 99 by Phil Tufnell and Allan Border scored 77. It was 196 overs of punishment for England’s bowlers.
England crumbled to 205 all out despite 80 from Michael Atherton. Perhaps the most memorable moment of the match was the second innings, however, with England following on.
Atherton, in trademark fashion, was gutsy throughout despite England having next to no chance. Slipping for a run, however, Atherton was cruelly run out for 99 as Australia cruised to an innings victory.
Ashes 2009: England Win By 115 Runs
The 2009 Ashes was a magical one for England. Andrew Strauss’ side were on their ascension to best in the world, it eliminated the scars of the 2006/07 whitewash, and it was a perfect farewell to two of England’s greats; Andrew Flintoff and Steve Harmison.
Strauss led by example with a monster Day One partnership with his would-be successor Alastair Cook. Strauss finished the day 161 not out.
England were eventually dismissed for 425 before the early-career versions of James Anderson and Stuart Broad ripped through the Australians, bowling them out for 215.
England put the foot down in the third innings, setting Australia over 500 to win and with two days to bat. With a troublesome knee, Flintoff stepped up in what was his final game-altering performance with the ball.
Taking five wickets and soaking up the Lord’s adulation, Flintoff led England to a convincing victory. Will England get a Flintoff-esque performance in 2019? Plenty of betting sites will be fancying something similar from World Cup hero Jofra Archer…
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*